Parish council reluctantly accept almost 2,000 homes in exchange for Banwell bypass
PUBLISHED: 12:00 15 January 2018
Plans to build 1,900 homes on the edge of Banwell will be accepted by villagers – if a bypass is guaranteed.
Banwell Parish Council has submitted its official response to the Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) this week, offering ‘reluctant’ support for the proposal in exchange for a bypass to solve the village’s ‘long-standing’ traffic issues.
The JSP has been formed by four local authorities – North Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Bristol City councils – and will see more than 100,000 houses built across the region by 2036.
The plan includes a ‘garden village’ of 1,900 homes north-west of Banwell, and a similar development of 2,800 homes north-west of Churchill and Langford.
Consultation over the plans concluded yesterday (Wednesday), and responses will now be considered before the plan is sent for review by the Government.
At its meeting on Monday, Cllr Philip Hale said the parish council ‘reluctantly accepted’ the JSP, provided a bypass is delivered before any housing.
The parish council said The Vale proposal, which is fronted by developer Taylor Wimpey and plots more than 4,000 houses south of Bristol, is in a more sustainable location than Banwell and Churchill – but the Vale has not been included in the JSP.
A parish council statement said: “In principle the parish council does not support the identification of Banwell and Churchill as development locations when a more sustainable location is deliverable at The Vale.
“However, if the proposals for Banwell will secure the early provision of a bypass to alleviate its long-standing traffic problems, the parish council reluctantly concedes the garden village should be included in the final JSP.
“The parish council would not support a further increase in the number of houses proposed for Banwell should this be proposed as a result of this consultation.
“The parish council firmly believes there will be great benefits in having a bypass and an M5 junction 21A provided the latter functions in both directions.
“No new housing should be built under the JSP either in Banwell before the proposed transport infrastructure is completed.
“A phased delivery of the bypass would be unworkable as the whole village needs to be bypassed in one go otherwise it would exacerbate the rat runs already present in the village.”